Questions for Nursing Students - page 2

I would like your opinion on some questions, so I can get a nursing student point of view! I am new to teaching nursing students, and desperately want to do a good job. I've received good reviews... Read More

  1. by   CVnurse08
    Although I am still a nursing student, I know how you feel about being and looking young. I just turned 19 two months ago and am a junior in my BSN nursing program. I look about 16 but am very mature and diligent about my studies (I say that as I should be studying for finals right now
    But I would welcome a young instructor because I feel that they can truly relate to what we are going through. Nursing school was not very long ago for you and you still remember how stressful and tough and exhausting it really is. I think some instructors that have been out for a long time tend to forget that and can't understand why we simply "break down" sometimes because of the work load. I'm not saying that you should or will take it easy on the students but you can at least empathize better with what they are going through. I have a great clinical instructor right now (I'm in Foundations). I was scared to death of her at the beginning of the semester but now wouldn't trade her for anyone. She is stern enough so that you respect her and want to do what she asks but yet when you do something well or come prepared, she rewards you. I like instructors who reward preparedness for clinical and look for opportunities for students to try skills they are learning. I also love the idea of during slow times, letting the students just shadow an RN to see what the "real job" is like. I agree with all the other posters, thanks so much for asking our opinion. I would welcome you as my instructor!
  2. by   BoonersmomRN
    . What have your clinical instructors done to enhance your learning during clinicals? Especially clinicals that didn't offer much in the way of practicing skills ( such as low chance for IV's, dressings, etc).


    We did special rotation days where we were turfed to other parts of the hospital to see other things. We were given "scenario" patients and then discussed them round table style.

    2. What techniques have your teachers used to help lecture be less boring, but still provide you with the needed information?

    "acting out" scenarios. ( my psych teacher acted out each of the personality disorders....we gave her a standing ovation)

    Movies
    Guest Speakers
    Open ended discussion
    Q+A sessions

    3. What would you like us (meaning nursing instructors) to know that would help you excel in your learning?

    Don't just lecture me. Make it more real life. INVOLVE the students.

    4. This is just something I have wondered, but never asked any of my students... As you can see from my info, I'm pretty young compared to most nursing instructors and I look younger than what I really am. Someimes I see it as a positive, other times as a hindrance. What would be some of your FIRST impressions of a nursing instructor who was young? Meaning, what things roll across your mind when you walk into that first class or your first clinical and the person who says she is your instructor looks like she barely graduated high school, much less college? I feel very confident in my knowledge level and ability, but I do get some odd looks in the beginning and have always wondered, "What they are thinking?"

    I'd actually probably think it was very cool- as in she WANTS to teach...didn't take her long to figure that out!
  3. by   Achoo!
    Instead of just doing powerpoints, one instructor made " trees" in regards to certain disorders to get us to think further.
    For instance confusion. What can cause it?
    Perfusion issues- How do you assess?
    Hypoxia- how do you assess? What do you look for?
    Metabolic disorders- What to look for
    Sensory issues- Do they have hearing aids? Sensory deprivation in isolation? Etc..

    That was way more helpful than rattling off book information which we already read on our own.
  4. by   RNfromMN
    Quote from scribblerrn
    1. What have your clinical instructors done to enhance your learning during clinicals? Especially clinicals that didn't offer much in the way of practicing skills ( such as low chance for IV's, dressings, etc).
    -My instructors will keep their ears open on the floor & if they hear of any type of procedure being done on any pt (cather insertion, IV start, IV push, whatever) will grab just any random student & tell them to go to room such & such. Same goes for procedures: paresenthesis, MRI...she'll just grab a student & have them escort the pt so they can observe. The coolest thing I ever saw an instructor do for his class was to somehow check the hospital's surgery schedule and "surprise" one of us when we got up on the floor with, "Guess what...you're going to surgery today." He would do this when things were slow, or the pts weren't too challenging.

    Quote from scribblerrn
    2. What techniques have your teachers used to help lecture be less boring, but still provide you with the needed information?
    -In my opinion, personal stories are the best. "So that's the lecture on hepatitis...reminds of a pt I took care of a couple years ago...the first thing I noticed when I walked in the room was the yellow around her eyes...her liver function labs were...& I remember my stethoscope even left bruises when I auscultated bowel sounds...according to her chart, she'd been drinking 2 L of Vodka a day..."

    Quote from scribblerrn
    3. What would you like us (meaning nursing instructors) to know that would help you excel in your learning?
    -This could be different for every student...I know I have one clinical instructor that tried starting the first day of clinical with each student having their own pt & recently she admitted to us that it was just way to overwhelming for almost everybody (even though her group had already had 2 other clinical experiences). From now on she always makes the first day about orientation & then assigns 2 students to 1 pt...just for the 1st day. I was surprised how much of a difference this made...to work with another student on the same pt. I also think instructors shouldn't underestimate the fact that each student has a different background & different experiences...most of the students in my program have worked in hospitals as a CNA or LPN & I haven't & I've got a wonderful instructor that always keeps that in mind.

    Quote from scribblerrn
    4. This is just something I have wondered, but never asked any of my students... As you can see from my info, I'm pretty young compared to most nursing instructors and I look younger than what I really am. Someimes I see it as a positive, other times as a hindrance. What would be some of your FIRST impressions of a nursing instructor who was young? Meaning, what things roll across your mind when you walk into that first class or your first clinical and the person who says she is your instructor looks like she barely graduated high school, much less college? I feel very confident in my knowledge level and ability, but I do get some odd looks in the beginning and have always wondered, "What they are thinking?"
    -I'm thinking, "Cool!" Still young enough to remember what it's like to be a student! I actually had a really young guy as my CI this semester & I was seriously impressed about his level of knowledge regarding nursing. If I did have any doubts though when seeing a younger instructor, they would quickly be disspelled once he/she proved they really knew their stuff. I have no reason to think you wouldn't know as my other instructors from your post, so please don't get offended by this, but I think the worst thing you could do is to not admit it when you don't know the answer to something...there's nothing wrong with saying, "I'm not sure about that...let's look it up."
  5. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    1. - I was in this position with my clinical course this semester, and it sucked. Ask the Charge to get your students to do every technical skill they can while on the floor, even if it isn't your student's patient.
    - Weekly testing in post conference with hypothetical scenarios, since we didn't really see many teaching things.
    - Nursing student "rounds" have nursing students present their patients to one another, and allow opportunities for other students to ask questions & give ideas/suggestions for care.

    2. - Personal stories, examples. Know what you are talking about.
    - Use power point properly, if you dont know how to use it....please learn.
    - Post powerpoint a week before the class, allow students to read it, and come to class to discuss & ask questions.
    - Don't struggle to engage a class that just isn't up for being engaged. We had one teacher would struggled so much to get the class to interact with her at 8:30 on a Monday morning, it was brutal!

    3. - I want to learn, but sometimes I need a little prodding. Weekly 10-15 min quizzes are a great stimulus to actually do readings and try to retain material, and help with marks too!
    - Information about other health related seminars/courses/events/speakers that you may hear about would be nice.
    - An exam worth 45-50% of the final mark is not a fair judgement of knowledge for those who don't test well.
    - We have lives outside the classroom, please acknowledge this!
  6. by   SNKerri
    I love powerpoints! A good way to keep students involved and still use powerpoints is to leave a few blanks on each slide where the important stuff goes. This way you still have most of the words written out but the students must pay attention to get the really important stuff. Make this the stuff that you will definantly put on your tests.
    For example:
    The best way to prevent spread of infection is ---- -------.
    Then it can be filled in with Hand washing by the student!

    Best of Luck to you!
  7. by   Ohmygosh
    Quote from scribblerrn
    i would like your opinion on some questions, so i can get a nursing student point of view! i am new to teaching nursing students, and desperately want to do a good job. i've received good reviews from students so far, but fresh ideas would be great.

    please provide me with constructive criticism. i'm sure all of you have dealt with crummy nursing instructors (so have i), but don't think of them, when you answer the questions. think about the ones that really helped you and made a difference.

    1. what have your clinical instructors done to enhance your learning during clinicals? especially clinicals that didn't offer much in the way of practicing skills ( such as low chance for iv's, dressings, etc).

    i agree that looking out for procedures and skills that a student has not had the chance to see/do is awesome. my favorite clinical instructor made it a point to know what subject our next test was on and when it was---she used this information to come up with questions and senerios to discuss during post conference.

    i think that i learned the most from a clinical assignment we were required to do for each and every clinical during my second semester. we had to take the admitting diagnosis and complete a brief patho. discuss the text book s/s, and what symptoms we observed in that patient. list all the medications that the patient was on and describe why that medication was prescribed for the patient. discuss surgical treatment if that applied, etc. i learned so much about a varity of illnesses.

    i would have liked to have an instructor really take time to discuss lab values with me and point out how the abnormals are manifested in the patient. i am a visual learner -- a actually seeing the effects of hypokalemia or hypermagnesemia would help the visual learners.

    a "nice job" --"good call" or "how could you have handled that situation differently" is also beneficial to me personally.

    2. what techniques have your teachers used to help lecture be less boring, but still provide you with the needed information?

    i have a love/hate relationship with power points. i love the fact that i can print each slide out onto an index card for easy access in a "lull in the activity" if there should be one during a clinical or any other down time. i hate when instructors read word for word from the power point and never inject any "reality" into the subject with personal experiences etc.

    3. what would you like us (meaning nursing instructors) to know that would help you excel in your learning?

    1. realize that we have a life outside of nursing school, including kids, husbands, etc.
    2. be approachable!
    3. use different styles of lecture/class to help different types of learning styles (visuals, mneumonics, q & a sessions, etc)

    4. this is just something i have wondered, but never asked any of my students... as you can see from my info, i'm pretty young compared to most nursing instructors and i look younger than what i really am. someimes i see it as a positive, other times as a hindrance. what would be some of your first impressions of a nursing instructor who was young? meaning, what things roll across your mind when you walk into that first class or your first clinical and the person who says she is your instructor looks like she barely graduated high school, much less college? i feel very confident in my knowledge level and ability, but i do get some odd looks in the beginning and have always wondered, "what they are thinking?"
    several of my instructors have been younger than me. i personally don't have an issue with that. i try to keep a positve/willing to learn attitude at all clinicals regardless of what other students have said about a particular instructor. i dont care if the instructor is old or young --he/she knows something i need/want to know and i am going to pick his/her brain until i understand.
  8. by   scribblerpnp
    Thanks to you all for some of the wonderful and new ideas as well as giving me an idea about if what I'm currently doing is working. Feel free to keep any new ideas or perspectives coming. I'm enjoying reading all of your views and answers!
  9. by   moongirl
    The best clinical instructor I have ever had has been the one who kept her hands outta things when I was trying to learn. She would stand by and watch, and if you took a bit to draw the med up, she never complained, learning is done by me, not her.. The first time I did a PCA set up, she talked me thru it, with my hands doing the work, not hers. This is such a big help.

    The best lecture instructor I have had so far has given us humorous drawings to match with the lecture and we fill in info from the lecture. to this day I can draw the stuff that goes with Raynards disease.

    The one thing I would like to see more of is positive reinforcement instead of so much negativity. I think sometimes if you have a student who does really well all the time its easy to forget to say "good job" and only pick on the little tiny stuff they may do wrong. It never hurts to remember that the ones who always do what they are supposed to, how they are supposed to and when need to hear a " good job" every once in a while

    as for your age, I wouldnt have a problem with an instructor that is youngs than I am. The ones I dont particularly care for are the ones close to retirement that havent actually worked on a med surg floor in 25 years, plus you have the added bonus of having "fresh wounds' from nursing school yourself! and.. AEB this post, you care about your job as an instructor, I have seen a lot of tenured instructors who wouldnt care a bit about students opinions/wants/needs!
  10. by   scribblerpnp
    Quote from moongirl
    The best clinical instructor I have ever had has been the one who kept her hands outta things when I was trying to learn. She would stand by and watch, and if you took a bit to draw the med up, she never complained, learning is done by me, not her.. The first time I did a PCA set up, she talked me thru it, with my hands doing the work, not hers. This is such a big help.
    This was one of the hardest things for me to do when I first started. I would literally sit on my hands or hold them behind my back to keep them out of the students way! Part of this comes from not liking to stand there and be still. Often I'll tear of pieces of tape, fold a blanket, click a pen, anything to keep my hands busy and out of the way. But I DO stay out of the way, and that's the important thing.
  11. by   WDWpixieRN
    I think there's tons of great advice here....as a 50-year-old first semester student, I definitely wouldn't have a problem with YOUR age as long as I didn't feel like you had a problem with mine....I think that's mostly a 2-way street, but it sounds like you'll be fine...

    I love having the PowerPoint handouts, BUT...when it's just an outline of the book -- period...and the instructor proceeds to read the PP and then expound almost word for word from the book, I don't have a lot of incentive to show up for class (I did though each and everyday)....we knew if we had to miss, we really didn't "miss"; the material was all in the book....I think real-life examples, some visual or interactive learning methods, the NCLEX-type quizzes/examples at the end of a lecture -- those are some terrific tips!

    In clinicals, I have to agree...remember we are newbies....I've never set foot in a hospital except to have kids, and I just felt totally shut down each time I asked a question....if I wasn't sure what I was hearing on auscultation, or wanted assistance in assessing a surgical wound with a JP drain (that I had never even heard of at that point), I really, really DON'T NEED to be talked to like an idiot or I'm bothering someone....the RNs on the floor aren't my instructors and shouldn't be expected to do that....I have an INSTRUCTOR....there have been several times during this semester when I have considered dropping as apparently I'm already supposed to know this from a few tapes I've listened to online and I don't tolerate ignorance well -- especially in myself!! Several of the students had many opportunities to do skills, while others of us had none....and do try to let them at least observe when possible what's happening with other patients. It was great seeing a PICC inserted, watching a MD insert a chest drain, etc....just observing was a treat AND a learning experience....how terrific when we came across these subjects in lectures to have had a visual to put together with that!

    I think the fact that you care enough to ask is a great first step....obviously you can't incorporate everything, but you've got tons of good advice to start with. I wish you the best of luck in touching so many lives between your nursing students, who will one day be RNs and their future patients!!
  12. by   justpoorfect
    Interesting thread!

    What bothers me about clinicals the most is that the paperwork we are to fill out doesn't match the new computer charting! Ugh! I have a set of 5 or 6 (such bad copies you can't even read the print sometimes) pages of data sets to fill out, some of it so repetitive it boggles. Then there is the problem of Nursing Narratives, and the instructor hasn't made it clear (at least to me) what she wants to see there. There are no Nursing Narratives in the computer system - gone. One time I hand it in and she scrawls, "Too much assessment data, tell me what changed during your shift." The next time I ask, it's "Of course I want your assessment data!" (Which is all available on the checklists for the other 4 pages!) Of course I realize this is mainly my problem to fix, but some back and forth talk would mean more to me than red letters all over my paperwork.

    Additionally, if you are doing clinicals with students, please realize some of us have never worked in a hospital, and may need some orientation to the room, where supplies are kept at bedside or at the nurse's stations, what care you are expected to do vs what the patient is expected to do on his/her own.

    I wish our school had more film footage of different clinical manifestations of disease/procedures we could view. We do have ATI dvds, but alot of that is just some model speaking into the camera.

    I must say that my instructor is succeeding at STARTING to make it all come together for me though. She is really emphasizing how lab values relate to treatment and symptoms.

    I love the idea of doing rounds or teaming up students for one day.

    Congratulations and good luck with your teaching...we NEED you!
  13. by   dani_girl
    My CI is younger looking also, and it in no way makes me think "does she have experience enough to teach me" I like that she knows the newer things we are learning about but also has the experience to say what is going to happen in reality.
    One thing I really love about my CI is on our care plans we turn in, she has a place for questions/ addition things I learned. That way we don't have to track her down to say "i saw this what does it mean" and she can answer us. Another thing is she gives us real experience scenarios, like the book my say XYZ, but really this would be something that I do like this.. like she showed all of us how when removing an IV she has her hands a certain way to keep pressure on and not get all wrapped up in the tape or what not.
    One thing that our group loved is one day after post-conf. she took the tape recording and gave us the pages she uses to make notes on her pt and showed us how to fill them out, like the nurses do.. sounds easy but listening to some of the nurses record, is really fast, so that was great. Just giving us extra time to learn things that isn't in the requirements that she knows will help us later.
    As for PP I like them.. when they aren't verbatim of the book.. some of our instructors have slides with a few words in them that are the main elements, and empty boxes to the left of every slide that we can expand their point in.. that way you are listening, and not going "why are they reading off the board!!!!" And give real life experience. That always keeps us interested.. just please don't give a story for everything.. just a couple a day to help us see why it is important.. One of our schools favorite lecturers always sticks a few funny pics in her power point usually of animals, or Farside comics that go with the lecture.. like the fattest cat you have ever seen stuck on its back when we are talking about Immobility issues.. just to break up the lecture.
    Good luck.. i think you are on the right tract, especially by seeking feedback.. ask your students. see if there is anything they feel unsure about and make that part of your post-conf wrap up for the week.

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